Four editors sampled hot chocolate from six local spots on a recent 29-degree day. Disses were thrown. Drinks were spilled. In the end, only one cup of goodness could win all the marshmallows.

Here’s how it went down.

The ContendersThe VibeThe OrderThe PricesThe TalkThe Verdict
Crooked Tree Relaxed—tons of regulars chatted with the baristas. Side note: Do you like Christian Bible studies? This is the place for you. These are happening here. Hot chocolate $3 (one size fits all) There might be a reason this place attracts the Christian soldiers. The hot chocolate here is very wholesome—it tasted and looked like warm chocolate milk. Three marshmallows
White Rock Coffee “Vibes” are for people who don’t have kids or demanding jobs. This White Rock Coffee outpost is drive-thru only. Large hot chocolate $2.95 Sugary and sweet, this is the stuff we remember from our childhood. Two marshmallows
La Duni Casual refinement. Pretty people who had just completed a workout at nearby Flywheel gather for a leisurely breakfast. Service is also leisurely. Large hot chocolate $5.25 This was by far the hottest, darkest, and spiciest of the bunch. If you want a nutty, rich, complex, almost savory hot chocolate, this one’s for you. Four marshmallows
Mudsmith A haven for coffee snobs and green-juice-loving hipsters. Not-so-struggling artist types abound; one man in a beret was preparing for a business call from Germany. Hot chocolate $3.79 Our cup tasted a bit like it hadn’t been properly mixed up. It left us with a funny aftertaste. Two marshmallows
Chocolate Secrets What is going on in this place? Everyone who works here is so happy and friendly. Hot chocolate with peppermint, chocolate shavings, and whipped cream $3.90 Do you like happiness and goodness and Christmas? This is the cup for you. If you don’t, move on. But you’re dumb and making a huge mistake. Five marshmallows
Pearl Cup Office-building deli meets hipster poetry slam. Large hot chocolate $3.75 We were very underwhelmed—it tasted like water served in an old cup. Said one lady, “It tastes the way a doctor’s office smells.” Zero marshmallows

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